Vignette (road tax)
Overview
 
A road tax
Road tax
Road tax, known by various names around the world, is a tax which has to be paid on a motor vehicle before using it on a public road.-Australia:...

 vignette is a form of tax on vehicles
Road pricing
Road pricing is an economic concept regarding the various direct charges applied for the use of roads. The road charges includes fuel taxes, licence fees, parking taxes, tolls, and congestion charges, including those which may vary by time of day, by the specific road, or by the specific vehicle...

, used in several non-English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 speaking European countries. The term is of French origin, and is now used throughout Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

.

Vignettes are used in Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

, Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

 and Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, while other types of road toll
Toll road
A toll road is a privately or publicly built road for which a driver pays a toll for use. Structures for which tolls are charged include toll bridges and toll tunnels. Non-toll roads are financed using other sources of revenue, most typically fuel tax or general tax funds...

 are being imposed on drivers in several other European countries. The small, colored toll sticker is to be affixed on a vehicle, often personal of up to 3.5 tons
Tonne
The tonne, known as the metric ton in the US , often put pleonastically as "metric tonne" to avoid confusion with ton, is a metric system unit of mass equal to 1000 kilograms. The tonne is not an International System of Units unit, but is accepted for use with the SI...

 maximum permissible gross weight (passenger car
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

, motorcycle
Motorcycling
Motorcycling is the act of riding a motorcycle. A variety of subcultures and lifestyles have been built up around motorcycling.-Benefits:Robert M. Pirsig's book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was a paean celebrating motorcycling...

, travel trailer
Travel trailer
A travel trailer or caravan is towed behind a road vehicle to provide a place to sleep which is more comfortable and protected than a tent . It provides the means for people to have their own home on a journey or a vacation, without relying on a motel or hotel, and enables them to stay in places...

), passing through motorways and expressways
Limited-access road
A limited-access road known by various terms worldwide, including limited-access highway, dual-carriageway and expressway, is a highway or arterial road for high-speed traffic which has many or most characteristics of a controlled-access highway , including limited or no access to adjacent...

, which indicates that the respective road tax has been paid.
Encyclopedia
A road tax
Road tax
Road tax, known by various names around the world, is a tax which has to be paid on a motor vehicle before using it on a public road.-Australia:...

 vignette is a form of tax on vehicles
Road pricing
Road pricing is an economic concept regarding the various direct charges applied for the use of roads. The road charges includes fuel taxes, licence fees, parking taxes, tolls, and congestion charges, including those which may vary by time of day, by the specific road, or by the specific vehicle...

, used in several non-English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 speaking European countries. The term is of French origin, and is now used throughout Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

.

Vignettes are used in Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

, Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

, Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

, Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

, Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

 and Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, while other types of road toll
Toll road
A toll road is a privately or publicly built road for which a driver pays a toll for use. Structures for which tolls are charged include toll bridges and toll tunnels. Non-toll roads are financed using other sources of revenue, most typically fuel tax or general tax funds...

 are being imposed on drivers in several other European countries. The small, colored toll sticker is to be affixed on a vehicle, often personal of up to 3.5 tons
Tonne
The tonne, known as the metric ton in the US , often put pleonastically as "metric tonne" to avoid confusion with ton, is a metric system unit of mass equal to 1000 kilograms. The tonne is not an International System of Units unit, but is accepted for use with the SI...

 maximum permissible gross weight (passenger car
Automobile
An automobile, autocar, motor car or car is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor...

, motorcycle
Motorcycling
Motorcycling is the act of riding a motorcycle. A variety of subcultures and lifestyles have been built up around motorcycling.-Benefits:Robert M. Pirsig's book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was a paean celebrating motorcycling...

, travel trailer
Travel trailer
A travel trailer or caravan is towed behind a road vehicle to provide a place to sleep which is more comfortable and protected than a tent . It provides the means for people to have their own home on a journey or a vacation, without relying on a motel or hotel, and enables them to stay in places...

), passing through motorways and expressways
Limited-access road
A limited-access road known by various terms worldwide, including limited-access highway, dual-carriageway and expressway, is a highway or arterial road for high-speed traffic which has many or most characteristics of a controlled-access highway , including limited or no access to adjacent...

, which indicates that the respective road tax has been paid. Vignettes are often valid for one year, and can usually be obtained at border crossings
Border checkpoint
A border checkpoint is a place, generally between two countries, where travellers and/or goods are inspected. Authorization often is required to enter a country through its borders. Access-controlled borders often have a limited number of checkpoints where they can be crossed without legal...

, gas stations
Filling station
A filling station, also known as a fueling station, garage, gasbar , gas station , petrol bunk , petrol pump , petrol garage, petrol kiosk , petrol station "'servo"' in Australia or service station, is a facility which sells fuel and lubricants...

 and labeled points. They are usually constructed in such a way that detaching and reattaching them is impossible without destruction, ensuring that drivers can't use the same vignette on more than one vehicle. Improperly used, torn or lost vignettes are usually not refunded. Road
Road
A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places, which typically has been paved or otherwise improved to allow travel by some conveyance, including a horse, cart, or motor vehicle. Roads consist of one, or sometimes two, roadways each with one or more lanes and also any...

 traffic is often monitored by roadside cameras
Mass surveillance
Mass surveillance is the pervasive surveillance of an entire population, or a substantial fraction thereof.Modern governments today commonly perform mass surveillance of their citizens, explaining that they believe that it is necessary to protect them from dangerous groups such as terrorists,...

, and vignettes are verified by state officials, such as border guard
Border guard
The border guard, frontier guard, border patrol, border police, or frontier police of a country is a national security agency that performs border control, i.e., enforces the security of the country's national borders....

 and national police
Police
The police is a personification of the state designated to put in practice the enforced law, protect property and reduce civil disorder in civilian matters. Their powers include the legitimized use of force...

. Hefty cash fines are often charged to travel
Travel
Travel is the movement of people or objects between relatively distant geographical locations. 'Travel' can also include relatively short stays between successive movements.-Etymology:...

ers using public roads
Highway
A highway is any public road. In American English, the term is common and almost always designates major roads. In British English, the term designates any road open to the public. Any interconnected set of highways can be variously referred to as a "highway system", a "highway network", or a...

 without a valid and properly affixed vignette. Additional tolls are usually levied for passing through certain motorway tunnels and bridges.

Eurovignette is a road toll for truck
Truck
A truck or lorry is a motor vehicle designed to transport cargo. Trucks vary greatly in size, power, and configuration, with the smallest being mechanically similar to an automobile...

s of minimum 12 tons. The system was adopted in 1999, and is now being used in Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

, Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, and Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

.

Vignette obligation by country

Austria

As of 1997, vignettes are required for all vehicles of up to 3.5 tons passing through motorways and expressways
Autobahns of Austria
The Austrian autobahns are controlled-access highways in Austria. They are officially called Bundesstraßen A according to the Austrian federal road act...

 (prefixed with letters A and S) under federal administration
Public administration
Public Administration houses the implementation of government policy and an academic discipline that studies this implementation and that prepares civil servants for this work. As a "field of inquiry with a diverse scope" its "fundamental goal.....

. Vignettes are overseen by police and toll sheriff employees of the federal motorway administration (ASFINAG), which acts as a corporation due to economic aspects. A substitute toll of €110 must be paid by travelers without a vignette, and a €240 fine is charged if a valid vignette is not affixed properly or has been tampered with. This substitute toll allows the use of type A and S motorway networks from the day of payment to the following day. If substitute toll is not paid, the traveler is subject to a complaint at the administration authority of the county, which may lead to a penalty fee between €300 and €3,000. Furthermore, personal valuables (including the vehicle) can be confiscated from foreigners to guarantee payment of the penalty.

In addition to the compulsory vignette, further tolls are charged for certain motorway sections where additional tollgates
Toll road
A toll road is a privately or publicly built road for which a driver pays a toll for use. Structures for which tolls are charged include toll bridges and toll tunnels. Non-toll roads are financed using other sources of revenue, most typically fuel tax or general tax funds...

 and video tolling
Video tolling
Video tolling is a technique for toll collection using video or still images of a vehicle's license plate to identify the vehicle for payment.- Technology :...

 systems are installed. Several sections require drivers to buy electronic toll cards, while another section (A-14) allows travelers to buy a substitute one-day Corridor-Vignette. Vignettes for vehicles of over 3.5 tons were replaced with a distance-based highway toll schedule via electronic Go-box
Go-box
A Go-box is a name used for a number of electronic devices.In Austria it is a radio transmitter used in trucks as part of the Videomaut toll collection system....

es on January 1st, 2004.

Bulgaria

Vignettes are required for all (including animal-powered
Horse-drawn vehicle
A horse-drawn vehicle is a mechanized piece of equipment pulled by one horse or by a team of horses. These vehicles typically had two or four wheels and were used to carry passengers and/or a load...

) vehicles driving on all public roads, with exception of streets inside cities, towns and villages. Vignettes are usually valid from the time they are purchased, while some types can be marked to start from a future date. They can be obtained in Bulgaria at most gas stations, border crossings, or online using a credit card. Cash fines of €60 or more are charged to drivers without a valid vignette.

Czech Republic

Vignettes are required for use of motorways and expressways
Highways in the Czech Republic
The highways in the Czech Republic are divided into motorways and expressways.These dual carriageways are managed by the state-owned Road and Motorway Directorate of the Czech Republic – RSD, established in 1997...

 for all vehicles of up to 3.5 tons. Cash fines for not displaying a valid vignette affixed on a car's windshield range from €80 to €200. Vignettes for heavier vehicles were replaced with electronic toll collection
Electronic toll collection
Electronic toll collection , an adaptation of military "identification friend or foe" technology, aims to eliminate the delay on toll roads by collecting tolls electronically. It is thus a technological implementation of a road pricing concept...

 in 2007.

France

The French vignette-based vehicle tax was introduced in 1956 to fund a minimum income scheme for citizens of age 65 and above. They were available in tabacs
Tabac (store)
A Tabac is a store licensed to sell tobacco products in France. Tabacs are identified by a distinctive elongated diamond sign. Tabacs also sell newspapers, telephone cards and postage stamps....

, and all vehicle owners were required to buy one at the end of each year. The price depended on the engine's horsepower, and in which department the car was registered. The vignette system soon led to controversy, leading to the tax not being ring-fenced
Hypothecated tax
The hypothecation of a tax is the dedication of the revenue from a specific tax for a particular expenditure purpose. Hypothecation is the pledging of assets....

 for old people any longer.

Vignettes were abolished for motorcycles in June 1981, and for other vehicles in 2001. An electronic toll is being charged for all travelers using motorways and expressways
Autoroutes of France
The Autoroute system in France consists largely of toll roads, except around large cities and in parts of the north. It is a network of worth of motorways. Autoroute destinations are shown in blue, while destinations reached through a combination of autoroutes are shown with an added autoroute logo...

, while additional fees have to be paid for certain tunnels and bridges.

Germany

Motorways and expressways are a toll-free road network for all lighter vehicles. The Eurovignette system for trucks was abolished in August 2003, after which a distance-based toll charge
LKW-MAUT
Germany's LKW-Maut is a toll for goods vehicles based on the distance driven in kilometres, the number of axles and the emission category of the vehicle.-Overview:...

 for vehicles of over 12 tons was established by the Toll Collect
Toll Collect
Toll Collect GmbH is a German company that has developed and is running the tolling system for trucks on German motorways.The company is a consortium led by Daimler AG, Deutsche Telekom, and Cofiroute. It has won a bid for the development of a toll billing system from the German government. The...

 company on January 1st, 2005.

As of March 1st, 2007, all drivers are required to purchase an emission sticker when passing through the "environment zones" in several cities and municipalities. Certain "green zones" have completely disallowed entrance to vehicles with higher particle
Carbon dioxide
Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring chemical compound composed of two oxygen atoms covalently bonded to a single carbon atom...

 emissions ("yellow" and "red" groups). Travelers passing through these areas without the sticker are charged with a €40 fine and one point in the Traffic Offences Register.

Hungary

Vignettes are required for all travelers using motorways and expressways. Physical toll stickers were replaced with electronic vignettes and video tolling on January 1st, 2008, the only physical item the purchaser receives is a control coupon. Motorway usage entitlement is verified
Automatic number plate recognition
Automatic number plate recognition is a mass surveillance method that uses optical character recognition on images to read the license plates on vehicles. They can use existing closed-circuit television or road-rule enforcement cameras, or ones specifically designed for the task...

 by roadside cameras based on license plate
Vehicle registration plate
A vehicle registration plate is a metal or plastic plate attached to a motor vehicle or trailer for official identification purposes. The registration identifier is a numeric or alphanumeric code that uniquely identifies the vehicle within the issuing region's database...

 numbers, and drivers of vehicles up to 3.5 tons without a valid vignette are charged with a cash fine of €140, or €700 if the initial fine is not paid in 15 days.

Montenegro

Drivers of all motor vehicle
Motor vehicle
A motor vehicle or road vehicle is a self-propelled wheeled vehicle that does not operate on rails, such as trains or trolleys. The vehicle propulsion is provided by an engine or motor, usually by an internal combustion engine, or an electric motor, or some combination of the two, such as hybrid...

s are required to purchase an annual ecological-tax
Ecotax
Ecotax refers to taxes intended to promote ecologically sustainable activities via economic incentives. Such a policy can complement or avert the need for regulatory approaches. Often, an ecotax policy proposal may attempt to maintain overall tax revenue by proportionately reducing other taxes...

 vignette, which can be obtained at border crossings. Additional tolls are being charged for passing through certain tunnels and bridges.

Romania

With exception of motorcycles, vignettes are required for all vehicles driving on all main roads and motorways. They can be obtained at most gas stations, border crossings, or online using a credit card. Drivers without a valid vignette are fined with €100 or more.

Slovakia

Vignettes are obligatory for all vehicles of up to 3.5 tons passing through Slovak motorways
Highways in Slovakia
The highways in Slovakia are divided into motorways and expressways.These dual carriageways are managed by the state-owned National Motorway Company of Slovakia - NDS, established in 2005...

. Vignettes for heavier vehicles were replaced with distance-based electronic toll collection in 2010. Drivers without a valid vignette are charged with cash fines between €100 and €500.

Slovenia

Vignettes are required for all vehicles of up to 3.5 tons passing through Slovenian motorways
Highways in Slovenia
The highways in Slovenia are the central state roads in Slovenia and are divided into motorways and expressways . Motorways are dual carriageways with a speed limit of . They have white-on-green road signs as in Italy, Croatia and other countries nearby. Expressways are secondary roads, also dual...

 as of July 1st, 2008. Heavier vehicles use existing tollgates. Drivers without a valid vignette are charged with cash fines between €300 and €800.

Switzerland

Travelers using motorways and expressways are required to purchase an annual vignette that is valid from December 1st of the previous year to January 31st next year. Vignettes can be obtained in and outside of Switzerland in bordering countries at gas stations and labeled points. Use of motorway networks without a valid vignette is an offense against the Public Highways Act, and is punishable with a cash fine of €75 or more, along with the obligatory purchase of an annual vignette. For heavier vehicles, a distance-based tax-rate is calculated between departure and arrival point for all types of roads.

See also

  • Road pricing
    Road pricing
    Road pricing is an economic concept regarding the various direct charges applied for the use of roads. The road charges includes fuel taxes, licence fees, parking taxes, tolls, and congestion charges, including those which may vary by time of day, by the specific road, or by the specific vehicle...

  • Road tax
    Road tax
    Road tax, known by various names around the world, is a tax which has to be paid on a motor vehicle before using it on a public road.-Australia:...

  • Toll road
    Toll road
    A toll road is a privately or publicly built road for which a driver pays a toll for use. Structures for which tolls are charged include toll bridges and toll tunnels. Non-toll roads are financed using other sources of revenue, most typically fuel tax or general tax funds...

  • Toll roads in Europe
    Toll roads in Europe
    - History :Many modern European roads were originally constructed as toll roads in order to bring in the costs of construction. Tolls on roads and bridges were very common in England in the 12th century and in the 15th century, schemes for improving particular roads or rivers were granted by acts...

  • Transport economics
    Transport economics
    Transport economics is a branch of economics that deals with the allocation of resources within the transport sector and has strong linkages with civil engineering. Transport economics differs from some other branches of economics in that the assumption of a spaceless, instantaneous economy does...

  • Transport in Europe
    Transport in Europe
    Transport in Europe provides for the movement needs of over 700 million people and associated freight. The political geography of Europe divides the continent into over 50 sovereign states and territories...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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